There is increased enforcement of a long standing regulation
that tracks the stay of foreign nationals in India. The
regulations provide that "Any Hotel/ Guest House/Dharmashala
(charitable housing)/Individual House/ University/ Hospital/
Institute/ Others etc. who provide accommodation to foreigners must
submit the details of the residing foreigner in Form C to the
Registration authorities within 24 hours of the arrival of the
foreigner at their premises. This will help the registration
authorities in locating and tracking the foreigners."
Until recently hotels, guest houses, hospitals and hostels
were routinely filing Form C about foreign nationals living on
their premises. However, in the recent past this regulation
is strictly enforced and even individual or private home owners
(including landlords) are now required to file Form C for each
foreign national living in their premises.
At present this requirement is enforced randomly at FROs/FRROs
across India but we expect it to be enforced across the country
soon. The method of compliance may differ from jurisdiction
to jurisdiction. In view of this we now insist that a Form C
is included in all post arrival FRO/FRRO registration and visa
extension applications. The lead time for landlords to
register on the Government portal and procure mandatory police
verification can add at least 3 to 10 working days to the process.
In addition, for the verification process the landlord is
required to provide address and ID proof documents that bear his or
her original signatures. Once the landlord is effectively
registered and verified he or she must generate a for C for each
individual staying in his premises even if they are a part of the
principal registrant's family. There is no clarity on
children being exempt from this requirement; hence we recommend
that they should also be issued a form C.
Several FRO/FRROs have ordered all building owners, educational
institutions and other establishments where foreigners stay, study
or work to furnish their details within 15 days from the time the
FRO/FRRO issued the notice and going forward information about
foreign nationals living on their premises must be reported to the
FRO/FRRO and local police stations within 15 days of the resident
moving into/leaving a house.
Action Point: Please ensure that if foreign nationals are
residing in rented premises in India that the landlord and his
premises are registered and verified on the Form C system and that
the landlord is available to issue a Form C for each family member
of the foreign national principal.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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